For some students, Christmas break means home-cooked meals and three weeks with no classwork. For others, it’s like walking into a war zone.
But I’m here to share three ways to survive the holiday season.
Welcome to Jasmine’s Declassified Christmas Survival Guide.
One: Do you want to build a partner?
“So, Jasmine, have you met anyone yet?”
My parents, grandparents and aunt ask me the same question every year.
I get it. I’ve been single forever and they want to know if I’ll give them any grandbabies. But the only man I want in my life is my mother’s gingerbread men.
My solution? Invent a significant other.
Slapping together a Facebook profile the night before isn’t going to cut it.
No, you need handwritten love letters, pictures and clothing belonging to your partner.
First up are the love letters.
You need to find a friend to handwrite the letters for you. You don’t want your family to identify your handwriting.
Make sure your friend writes the letters a few months in advance so they don’t look like they’re fresh from the printer.
The second step is creating your Instagram account.
You’ll want to find a B-list celebrity. You’ll be able to find photos, but your “partner” won’t be famous enough for your family to identify them.
I pick Osric Chau for my pretend boyfriend. He’s in a handful of Supernatural TV episodes so the chances of my family recognizing him are low.
Take photos of where you’d hang out with your partner, leaving enough space to photoshop them in later. You’ll want to have at least five or six so your family thinks they’re still around.
The last step of this dating scheme is a little expensive.
Buy a clothing item your partner would wear, along with a perfume or body spray you like. Spray the clothing item to make it smell like your partner.
I’d buy a hoodie from Walmart and a can of Old Spice.
Wear the sweater around your apartment two weeks before the break to make sure it doesn’t smell overwhelmingly like body spray.
Two: Presents on a budget
Buying gifts is one of the hardest parts of Christmas, but it’s even worse as a university student.
We’re broke, starving and don’t want to spend what little money we have on gifts our family won’t use.
To save a few bucks, go to events where you can make your gifts.
St. Thomas University Mental Health sometimes holds events where students can create paintings or mugs. I save these for the Christmas season to give to my parents.
If they look disappointed, say, “I thought money didn’t matter. I put a lot of work into these and made them from the heart.”
Add some puppy dog eyes and you’re golden.
But if painting isn’t your style, food is also a great option.
Stock up on Halloween chocolate and buy in bulk. Wrap it up and stuff it under the tree. This gift is popular with younger siblings.
Three: Bye-bye, Mariah
Michael Bublé, Mariah Carey and Taylor Swift’s Christmas albums dominate the music in my house from the middle of November until the end of December.
If you’re like me and hate Christmas music, you need to fight fire with fire.
Find the most unconventional holiday music and play it on blast.
AsapScience’s “Science Christmas Carols” or Jon Cozart’s “Progressive Christmas Carols” are some of my favourites.
Nothing sparks holiday cheer like singing about how fake trees are killing the planet or how Whoville is racist.
Eventually, any holiday joy that might come from Christmas carols fades away, leaving you victorious.